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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout - Dark Horse Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark Horse Fore Smoked StoutDark Horse Fore Smoked Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,018 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,018
Reviews: 429
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 60
Gots: 114 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Dark Horse Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 12-13-2002

Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,018 | Reviews: 429
Reviews by beergeek279:
Photo of beergeek279
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a dimple pint. The color is a VERY dark brown with a quickly dissipating dark brown head. The smell is very strong with the peat-ish smoked malt. The taste is a nice mix of the smokiness from peat malt and the chocolate of the base stout, with just a bit of coffee/hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, this would be a nice one to have a few of, but not overly sessionable.

Thanks to for the bottle as part of the NCAA tourney pool. I've always thought that Dark Horse lived up to its name; a fantastic brewery from Michigan that just doesn't get mentioned in the same breath as Bell's, Founders, Jolly Pumpkin, etc, which is unfair because the beers that come out of Marshall stand up to the best beers out of the state. Fore is no exception; a very nice smoky stout that mixes the smoke well with a chocolate maltiness. This is a damn good one, as are the rest of the 3, and I'd be glad to get this one again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

It's amazing to me that I have not had this beer until today.Pours into a nonic nearly jet black except for a deep chesnut brown tinge at the bottom of the glass a deep mocha colored head atop.The smoke stands out but is not in your face that along with molasses and dark roast coffee make up the nose mostly.A fuler but more mellow mouthfeel with molasses and dark roast coffee flavors over top of mild hardwood smoke.The smoke plays a role but doesn't punch you in the face wich I thought would be the case,solid.

Photo of MadScientist
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Jet black with a medium tan head that quickly dissipates to a ring of bubble around the glass.

S: Fore is a great smelling stout with a touch of smoke having moderately-high chocolate with moderate coffee and smoke aromas dominating the nose. There is a touch of malty sweetness and roasted grains with some dark dried fruit aromas. No hops aroma present.

T: Smoke plays a far more prominent roll in the taste dominating the first sip. A moderately-high smoke flavor over moderate chocolate and medium low coffee flavors. There is some dark dried fruit flavors mostly of prunes. The smoke comes down after a few sip and the balance comes into focus to show flavors as well crafted as the nose. The hops bitterness is moderately stronger than the malty sweetness.

M: A meduim-fiull bodied beer with moderately-light carbonation and a slight slickness.

O: Smoke and chocolate and a bit of coffee best describe this assertive beer. There is a depth of flavors and aromas but all supporting three main characteristics.

Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with three fingers of creamy brown head and a decent amount of carbonation sticking to the glass. Good retention and leaves some lacing.

S - Not surprisingly, smoke dominates the aroma. Smoke smell has a decent amount of wood character. Also some roasted malt present. While the smoke is predominant, it is by no means overwhelming.

T - Taste is initially chocolate and coffee malts with smoke coming through in the middle and on the finish. From the smell, I worried that this might be a bit one dimensional, but a nice balance of flavors are present. Some slightly bitter coffee persists.

M - Medium mouthfeel, actually a little thin, with some creaminess. Nice carbonation level.

O - I'm not a huge fan of smoked beers, but the smoke works well here and is nicely balanced. Another solid stout from Dark Horse.

Photo of Beaver13
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours pitch opaque black with a smallish dark brown head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet lactic chocolate, fudge, and some dark fruits with a small touch of smoke (as it warms).

The flavor is sweet lactic chocolate and peaty scotch with a roasted bitter finish. As it warms, a little smoke comes out and the alcohol becomes a bit more noticeable and warming. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and kind of watery.

Overall, a nice stout with good flavors. I didn't pick up on much smoke which was a bit of a bummer.

Photo of barhoc11
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, even for a 7% stout, there is no light getting through this thing

S: Not a lot going on with this

T: Smokey and fruity but not very multidimensional

M: Good thickness to it, not much to complain about

O: Not bad for a smoked stout but not something I would want to have every day

Photo of mverity
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

NYE bottle share at Proof. Apparently 4-5 years aged. Pours a deep rich black color with very thin head and a decent tan collar. Aroma is lightly smoked malt, and some burnt coffee. Taste is very similar. Taste is not overly smoked, which is a common complaint I have about smoked beers. Thick body and low-medium carbonation.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark and inky pour with a small tan head that leaves some patchy lacing. Aroma of chocolate, figs, anise, and a hint of smoke. Smooth and full bodied with an appropriate low carbonation. Taste is pleasantly complex. Dark roasty notes are prominent, with chocolate and coffee. Nuttiness and some fruity berry add a nice dimension and the subtle smokiness is just right. Very nice.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Eyedrinkale for this one...
Pours a deep, rich, thick black color with just a dusting of cocoa-colored head that sits finely on top of the brew.
A robust character...dark italian chocolate with espresso beans. Splendid vanilla bean aroma with a gentle sweetness in the lingering nose.
The taste is very rich, but in a good way...you get the feeling these guys really put their heart and soul into every brew they bottle. It is very balanced and has just enough hops to keep the malt from making this one sweet.
Huge coffee and chocolate flavors and while the smoked flavor is there, it is not up front...could be this one has sat a bit too long...not sure if the smoked flavor fades over time. I don't know what the abv is, but it is nowhere to be found. I'd gladly have this one again if given the opportunity.
Another one from DH that has really impressed.

Photo of tigg924
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, opaque, black in color

Smell: smoked chocolate malt, bit of coffee

Taste: balck coffee, roasted malt, some smoke and charcoal

Mouthfeel: medium/heavy bodied, slightly-sweet, medium/low carbonation

Drinkability: A better than average but not great smoked beer. I could have a couple but have no desire to finish a four pack. Decent and worth a try.

Photo of bsp77
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Near pitch black with thin brown head. No lacing.

Smell: Molasses, licorice and chocolate. Fairly sweet and only the slightest hint of smoke.

Taste: Not as sweet as the aroma, with chocolate, coffee, molasses and licorice. Turns a little bitter at the finish with char and harsh roasted notes.

Feel: Moderate carbonation with a medium to full body. Quite dry but a little chalky and not as smooth as the best Stouts.

Overall: Very good Stout overall. The charred notes add a nice layer of complexity to what would have otherwise been a fairly straightforward Stout.

Photo of amidabha
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

moderate pour into an imperial pint pub glass gave this motor oil with a generous two inch ruby brown head. this has a decent smoked smell that reminds me of some great home brews from the past.

the smoked flavor isn't too strong and mixes well with the barley bill. this is slightly more carbonated than i expected so the mouthfeel changes from the initial bite to a smooth finish at the end.

overall i don't think i'm a huge fan of smoked beers but his one isn't bad and i would turn down a free one ever. i think the intense carbonation makes this one a little more undesirable for me.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brilliant deep black with a two finger chocolate head that quickly dissipates.
S: Smoke, wine and dark toasted malt with traces of chocolate and coffee.
T: Roast malts with chocolate seasoned lightly by smoke. M: Medium full body, medium carbonation, smooth and creamy.
O: the smoke is very suibtle in this beer and well balanced by the other elements.

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a oily pitch black with lots of rising bubbles. Huge five finger creamy tan head with good retention. Lots of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smell: Big aroma of dark roasted malts. Big hints of dark chocolate along with some milk, coffee, caramel, and molasses. Subtle hints of smoke and wood. Also a dark fruit presence with hints of raisins and figs. Smells very robust and dark like their Plead The Fifth.

Taste: Big taste of deep roasted caramel malts with big notes of dark chocolate and milk. Also some good notes of dark bread, coffee, and molasses. Subtle hints of smoke, burnt wood, and beef jerky in the background. Also some light hints of dark raisin and figs. Very dark and tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Very creamy and somewhat syrupy. Pretty slick and the alcohol is hidden very well.

Overall: A very good stout. Smoke elements could of been a little stronger but the dark malts are really great. Almost as robust as an imperial stout.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into stout pokal; jet black, one of the darkest beers I've seen. Nice solid two-finger head of the darkest brown foam I've ever seen, it was the color of dark chocolate ice cream. Head recedes after a few minutes into a nice ring of foam.
Smells like dark chocolate, coffee, campfire smoke, metallic roasted malt, and hints of sweetness.
Taste follows nose in ingredients but not in quantity. Sweet milk chocolate and toffee take the wheel while bitter coffee/chocolate and ashy smoke try and backseat drive to no avail. Leaves the mouth in sticky sweetness with some lingering bitterness and an ashy feeling like you've been sitting around a campfire for a while.
Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, clean and wet. Finishes a bit dry at the very end but not much.
Overall, this is a tasty stout. However, with the smoke not playing much of a part and the relatively light body compared to the sweetness of the flavor, you could be convinced this was a chocolate porter or something perhaps. I'd like more smoke from a "smoked stout," but it's still tasty and interesting.

Photo of mondegreen
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Stone tulip.

Pours black with dark red highlights. Dark tan head sticks around for just a bit. Nose is toasty with some dark chocolate. I'm not picking up much smoke, maybe just a touch. The dark chocolate bitterness comes to the front in the taste. I'd actually like it to be more smoky. It just tastes like a decent American stout to me. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. I'm digging the chocolate flavors. It isn't what I expected, but it's a good beer nonetheless.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Way more balanced in bottle than on the draft version I had last week, this dark pitch black Michigan stout forms with a 3 finger thicket of dark khaki tan head leaves thick chunky sporadic lacing. Aroma has dark chocolate, hints of fruity coffee, and underlying layers of smoked malts. Really not bad, one of the better of the four stouts, creamy dark chocolate flavor with hints of coffee and smoked stouts. Flavors in clude dark dry bitter chocolate with hints of roasted barley and smoked underlying malts not in your face but really cohesive and complimentary toward one another. Mouthfeel is big bodied stout with a creamy bodied and lingering smokey bitterness from the dark malts and smoked malt additions. Overall impression is that things just keep getting better when I try a new beer from Dark Horse I want to see more in Ohio and Pittsburgh. Great not too late to get adventurous greab some of the 5 stouts this year before they all disappear.

Photo of brow1901
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I highly recommend that this beer be drank warm, its night and day difference.

A- Pitch black in color with a small coffee coloer head that disapears quick. Leaves no lacing on the way down.

S- Once it warms to the proper temp the smells come alive. Amazing smoked scent. Roasted dark malts, chocolate, tobacco. Some of the malt smells are bordering on burnt. No hops.

T- Again the roasted malt with lots of smoke. It kinda bites the toungue. Chocolate stands out as the sweet factor. Some bitterness on the back of the mouth, cant really distinguish the hop flavor though. And a mild alcohol warming as it goes down.

M- I initially didn't like the mouthfeel much, it seemed overly light but it got better as the brew warmed even more.

D- Pretty drinkable for a stout. Worth a try but I probably won't seek it out again. I'd rather have a RIS or a cream stout, but the smoke is a nice change from the oatmeal stout.

Photo of ByTor2112
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Flanagan's in Appleton, WI.
Pours dark black, no light escapes, not even at the edge of the glass. A puffy brown layer of foam rises with the pour but recedes to some thin tight bubbles and ring of foam around the edge.
Aroma-coffee, cocoa powder and I detect a slightly sour lactic milk stout aroma. Deep roated malt aromas too.
Mouthfeel-Medium to low carbonation delivers a silky coating to the palate. Bittersweet bakers chocolate comes through and the finish hints at some herbal hops. Almost clean. Some char can be found with a froth on the palate. Good dark roated malt flavors mix in as well. I was expecting a more aggressive smoke flavor, but this is a very pleasing stout and I like the subtleness of the smoke. Tastes like a milk stout with the char and the dark roasted flavors coming and going.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has an inky black body with no sign of carbonation no matter how rigorous the pour. There is no sign of carbonation in that dense body.

S- This beer has a very soft dark black malt note with a hint of dry smoke when it warms.

T- The soft taste of dark roasted malt has a soft alder smoke note with a slight salty hint to it. There is a watery taste in the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slippery texture.

D- This beer has a light soft flavor that in not very interesting or exciting.

Photo of pwoods
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at West Side Liquor, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours completely pitch black with slightly above average viscosity. A relatively short deep brown head forms from a relatively hard pour. Some retention and not much lacing.

S: Nicely smoky. Not too potent but enough to easily enjoy. Plenty of deeply roasted malts along with a sweet, super thick molasses character.

T/M: Rich roasted malts with more of the molasses and a coffee like bitterness. The smoke is on the subtle side but still present. The smoke gets a light sooty as it warms and after the swallow. Definitely a building bitterness and even a sticky dryness. Body is medium full with low carbonation.

D: ABV doesn't seem too high but this is still somewhat a sipper. Decent, though.

Photo of Brenden
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours out a viscous oily black that just lets some brown peek in at the edges. A creamy tan head about one finger tall, showing good retention, leaves a mixture of spotty and patchy lacing sticking on the glass.
The smokiness is well-attenuated in this beer, allowing for smoke with just a touch of char and no acridity. It gives a bit of woodiness to it, campfire style, with a touch of coffee, bittersweet cocoa nibs, and a touch of creamy vanilla. In this beer, there's an obvious roastiness that's well developed into the smoky flavor rather than just being a roasty stout. Smoke carries all the way through and lingers in the finish. Everything comes together and mingles just a little more fluidly in the taste than the smell, which itself is quite good. This is a great beer for those who like smokiness that isn't overdone and tastes genuine.
This beer also slows smoothly, having a light carbonation all the way through as well as a nice creaminess that comes into play from middle to finish. The body is appropriately heavy without sitting heavily.

Photo of tastybeer
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Black and solid. Small, quickly fading head, and one tiny spot of lace.

S: Smokey ash, cocoa, burnt coffee, tobacco, hickory, lactose, mollases, and caramel. Pretty vast aromas coming out of this fine beverage.

T: Taste is cocoa packed and delightful. Flavors include blackened meat-like notes, cream, coffee, tobacco, and molasses. Nice stuff going on here.

M: At the beginning of my sips it seems thinner than expected but it swirls up quite a bit in your mouth. Velvety smooth and soft. Like liquified chocolate with super fine carbonation.

O: Yes!

Photo of Stigs
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, the last of the stout series from Dark Horse for me to try. poured into a 12oz tall tulip glass.

A - pours with about half an inch of frothy, yet slightly loose dark khaki colored foam. the beer is, well...black as it should be. no lacing to be found.

S - very dark, charred malts...picking up some faint charcoal and ash as well. smoke comes through as that (ash) more than a lot of others, being less "meaty". dark chocolate and molasses consumes most of the sweetness.

T - begins as expected with dark, slightly bitter and roasty malts. smoke immediately sets in a bit, with bits of worcestershire sauce, and ash. other notes of tobacco and molasses creep in towards the end.

M - hmmm...might be me but this is lacking a bit of body, as everything flavor-wise falls apart a little bit after a second or so. carbonation is moderate yet somewhat lively, which adds to the thin feel. finishes in a flash, with some lingering roastiness and just a hinn of smoke, slightly chalky.

D - more of a plain (yet well performed) stout with a hint of smoke than a full fledged Smoked Stout. still, works very well on a rainy and slightly chilly fall night. this might work well in some chili or stew.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous looking beer...totally opaque black in color, with a toasted-marshmallow golden-brown head. When I see something this black with this kind of head, I think of Dark Lord. No doubt Dark Lord gets better ratings on appearance because it's Dark Lord, but that's not exactly fair to a sweet looker like Fore Smoked Stout. Anyway...

Smells wonderful too. Cocoa nibs, fresh milk and graham cracker prevail amidst the toasty, smoky aroma. The requisite chocolate and coffee traits smelled/tasted in so many stoust, too. This is one smoked beer whose aroma isn't dominated by smoke, which is exactly why I'm happy to give it a 4.5. While we're comparing to better-known beers, I thought of both Old Rasputin and Storm King when taking in Fore's smell, which shows it's not a totally smoke-drenched thing.

Flavor-wise, while smoke definitely is a part of the picture, it's not the whole picture. There's a burnt chocolate aspect, earthy mineral/metallic traits, and super-dark roast coffee bitterness too. A bit of alcohol in the back of the sip, which emerges more with warming, and ends up coming into the aroma with warming too. But nothing crazy, I'm guessing this is in the 6.5-6.9% range (?). Not as milky or gooey sweet as I prefer my stouts, but it's obviously not attempting to sit in that part of the stout realm.

The unobtrusive, medium-body increases the stout's drinkability I guess...a little more carbonation than I expected, also a little bit sticky, but basically nothing totally out-of-whack in this department.

Between the smoke, mineral and the burnt chocolate, this has a kind of carbonized vibe to it, which is cool, but can be a little tiresome. That said, it's still an adequately well-rounded and, thankfully, multi-dimensional stout. Smoke is only a part of the equation here.

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Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,018 ratings.